* Q1 EPS C$0.02 vs est. loss C$0.01/shr
* Revenue down 8 pct
May 14 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas explorer Orleans Energy Ltd OEX.TO posted a surprise quarterly profit, partly helped by higher average sales prices of oil and natural gas liquids.
For the first quarter, the company reported a net income of C$1.4 million, or 2 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$4.2 million, or 9 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Petroleum and natural gas revenue fell 8 percent to C$12 million.
Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 1 Canadian cent, on revenue of C$13.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said its average daily production of oil equivalent fell 13 percent to 3,638 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day.
The company’s operating expenses per barrel of oil equivalent fell 18 percent to C$10.15.
Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company closed at C$2.74 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)